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The 10 Worst First-Date Looks…

Last night I was struck by a strange realisation. It occurred to me that when choosing that perfect date outfit, my choices become more and more eccentric, experimental and… repulsive, if that dreaded feeling of first date cold feet sets in. Does anyone else get that, or is it just me?

I am known for being the most fickle person in the world, as far as my love life is concerned. It has to be said, it’s entirely true. I can wholeheartedly accept a man’s offer of a date one day, and within twenty-four hours, frantically spend a sleepless night trying to think of a genuine reason to cancel. Genuine, so that I’m not suddenly that bitch who lied to get away. It doesn’t matter how much I fancy the pants off of him, I get nervous about dates in the same way that I get nervous about job interviews, business meetings, dentist appointments and basically anything that requires me to behave like a grown up.

Somewhere along the lines, this ‘fear’ of first dates commitment has manifested into a strange inner Iris Apfel who pulls together the craziest outfits my usually conventional wardrobe can muster; a combination of stripes and spots, neon and print, over-sized and extravagant, all in a strange hope that it will send him running. It’s extreme, but it works like a charm. No man wants to date a glittering, glimmering, animal-adorning traffic cone who jingles with every step due to the sheer amount of jewellery stacked from fingertips to armpits.

I’ve spent my evening giggling as I ponder over which of the latest runway pieces would send any man running to the hills fastest…

1. Excessive amounts of fur/wool/feathers/general fluffiness.

If you walk into a restaurant wearing this scarlet Prada fur dress, for example:

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Prada

You could probably chase him out of the building so fast, you wouldn’t even have chance to ask about the specials. It’s no secret that men do not like fussy fashion, and while a fur coat can definitely be sexy, there’s fur… and there’s Muppet. Equally, while shearling lined jackets reappear every autumn, this fluffy blue item would have the same effect… wear the two together, and you’ll definitely not have to worry about stammering over his offer of a second date!

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Gucci

fur

1. Dolce & Gabbana. 2. Chloé. 3. Vladimiro Gioia. 4. Givenchy. 5. Chloé.

2. Sparkles

If he can see you from miles away, the two million hand-sewn sequins of your evening dress sending millions of tiny beams of light into the sky like Tinkerbell on LSD, it only means that he’ll have plenty of warning to make a run for it before you even arrive. If you actually like your date, a sequin skirt or a sequin-encrusted lapel on a silk blazer would look amazing (but not together – that would be too much), or equally, a crystal bracelet or necklace (again, just one) can really complete an outfit, but something like this…

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Marco de Vincenzo

…will probably a) blind him, and b) repel him.

sequin

1. Dolce & Gabbana. 2. Yves Saint Laurent. 3. Manish Arora. 4. Tim Ryan.

3. Glitter Boots

In the same strand as the sparkly, sequin coated garments of above, but these deserve a point all to themselves… they’re just so… disco.

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Saint Laurent

shoes

1. Saint Laurent. 2. Saint Laurent. 3. Saint Laurent. 4. Saint Laurent. 5. Saint Laurent.

4. Strange geometric patterns

The mysterious creature that is the human male is easily startled, confused and extremely judgmental. If you’re walking around looking like a walking set of traffic lights, a human puzzle set for children, or generally just like someone who is overly fond of your basic shapes, they will get spooked. Maybe it’s a lasting trauma of all of those hours that they spent stuck on a ‘peg-and-hole’ game at nursery (sorry.. kindergarten?)

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Chanel

print

1. Peter Pilotto. 2. Stella Jean. 3. Chloé. 4. Just Cavalli

5. Orange or Purple lips

Neon eye makeup (3)

I tend to stick to the two signature shades of nude-pink or bold red, and while I’m yet to meet a guy who doesn’t like red lipstick, I can still see that wary glance at my lips if every they have been coated in lashings of MAC’s Ruby Woo before they lean in for a kiss. Nevertheless, those glances only last a moment, but as soon as I step into experimenting with more daring shades; hot pinks, oranges, purples… no more kisses for me. It suddenly just isn’t worth the lipstick marks, and the strange explanations that would have to take place if anyone were to noticed that bright purple stain on his neck.

lipstick

1. Mac Pure Heroine. 2. Bobbi Brown. 3. Dior. 4. Illamasqua. 5. Barry M.

6.  1980s

While I’m a 90s kid, I have always strongly believed that what happened in the 80s, stays in the 80s. They can keep their big hair, big shoulders, big, noisy, flashy clothes. They can keep bright leg warmers (but blacks and neutrals, however, are acceptable) and parachute pants and disco-gym gear, and they can definitely keep Madonna. We don’t need such nonsense here, regardless of what the trends tell me. It will only end if tears if we allow the 80s trends back into our lives, I can tell you. Are we so incapable of learning from our mistakes? Walk into a bar dressed as Bananarama, and he’ll be sure to make his excuses. Especially if you go for a matching haircut, but let’s not go that far…

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Chanel

80s

1. Fay. 2. Tsumori Chisato. 3. Topshop. 4. Mango.  5. Vivienne Westwood.

8. Monsters Inc.

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Schiaparelli

Do you suspect that he’ll prove to be particularly difficult to get rid of? Go couture, in the fluffiest sense of the word, and take a very large leaf from the Monsters Inc book for your evening’s inspiration. Seriously, what man would want to be seen walking down the street with a character of a Pixar movie?

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Schiaparelli

monster

1. Just Cavalli. 2. P.A.R.O.S.H. 3. Yes London. 4. ASOS. 5. Cédric Charlier.

8. Bag Lady/Homeless Chic

The clue is in the name with these two…

Most often known as the signature style of the Olsen twins, very few people can pull off homeless chic like they can. For one thing, drop the sunglasses – they are a vital part of making the look work, and you’re going for a look that is one step too close to actual homeless person.

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Vivienne Westwood

bag

1. Junya Watanabe. 2 Barbara Bui. 3. Brunello Cucinelli. 4. The Row. 5. ASOS.

9. The Walking Laundry Bag

While tartan is in, I had no idea that tailoring a plastic laundry bag into a dress or coat was acceptable? If you add a well-told tale about how this is your only outfit, because you had to give your clothes to a [insert ridiculously eccentric character here] on your way to the laundrette, he’ll disappear quickly enough. It brings a whole new meaning to the term ‘crazy bag lady’.

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Celine

tartan

1. Comme Des Garcons Vintage. 2. Comme Des Garcon Vault. 3. Vivienne Westwood. 4. Lavinia. 5. Comme Des Garcons Vintage.

Wear these five items together in a crazy mis-mash of tartan, and you’ll be somewhere close to the Celine laundry bag outfit.

10. Runway Beauty…

Runway makeup is all about art and extravagance, and therefore, as we all know that the average man’s understanding of makeup is limited to a more natural look, 80% of the looks that emerge on catwalks will chase any guy away…

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Alexander McQueen

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Yohji Yamamoto

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Vivienne Westwood.

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Not the best wardrobe for backpacking…

When it comes to fashion, I think the 1950s were the best time for travelling. How on earth they managed to so perfectly pack those huge Grace Kelly skirts without completely ruining them, I’ll never know… how they managed to find the space to pack anything other than those space-hogging petticoats and skirts, I have no idea. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve tried in the past to be ‘sensible’ in what I pack for my travels. Jeans were banned (in the summer, anyway), my love for big midi-skirts was ignored, and I’d stick to a boho, mix and match, Free People-esque capsule wardrobe; lightweight, fold-resistant fabrics that take up minimal suitcase space . You’re mocked if you’re a girl with a big suitcase (especially one like these), full of the latest trends, which is definitely flared or pencil midi skirts right now. People – guys especially – roll their eyes out if they catch you applying lippy, or straightening your hair (though that last ‘backpacking offence, I am entirely innocent of, despite the cowlicks). You’re supposed to wander around with a grubby backpack (been there) – something ‘serious‘ (aka, ugly), or if you’re fashion conscience, vintage and canvas, which therefore feels like a bag of bricks hanging from your shoulder blades (done that).

I prefer to step off every plane, train and bus like this:

Minus the pin-perfect curls. I really don’t care that certain people who I meet on my travels openly presume that I am a) rich b) spoilt c) a bimbo and/or d) ignorant to the reality of backpacking. I’m not about to climb mountains in a pair of stilettos! Especially as I can barely walk down a perfectly flat and even pavement in stilettos without falling flat on my face… needless to say, while stilettos are pretty to look at, I never take anything higher than kittens abroad.

Fashion and travel don’t always work well together, of course… take the second Sex and The City movie. There were some great outfits in that film – I love the Dior tshirt-and-big-skirt combo. But equally, sometimes it was like a car crash headfirst into the wardrobe department. For example:

Personally, I think people have become lazy when it comes to fashion when travelling. I get that when travelling, people don’t want to spend hours and hours getting ready each morning. It takes me half an hour. Bam.

I think this is an expansion on my RSS… my fashion style is definitely ‘settled and working in the big city’, while my passion is to keep on moving, moving, moving. I’m molding the two tough, into something that works well for me.

Now days, besides making sure that I have one or two practical outfits for things like rock climbing, long, long, long walks or anything else that can’t be done in ballet pumps and kitten heels, I pack whatever I want, and just keep my fingers crossed that it will all fall naturally into a perfect capsule wardrobe. I seem to repeat the same go-to fashion habits again and again when it comes to colours and patterns, so generally, my entire wardrobe works well together. I guess in a way, I’m not particularly imaginative.

Dior

Bottega Vetena

Rochas

Fashion week still fresh in my mind, I’ve been thinking about my packing wardrobe of the season… Yes, the skirts are staying, along with tuxedo jackets – buttoned and bra-less… or maybe a cute lace bustier…hmm…), big petticoats beneath midi-skirts, patterned pencil skirts and amazing shoes.

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Look One: BlazerPetticoatSkirt. Shoes. Bag.

Look Two: BustierTrouser. Bag. Shoes. Belt. Necklace.

Look Three: Top. Skirt. Shoes. Bag.

Look Four: TopSkirt. Shoes. Bag.

Basically, I travel Audrey and Grace style.

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old animated GIF

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Oscars 2014 Fashion

Firstly, I think it’s sucky that the Oscars are not aired live in the UK – unless you have Sky. Maybe the feed could be found somewhere, buried in the deepest depths of the internet, but unfortunately my hours of searching brought me nothing.

So instead, I’ve had to turn to Vogue Online again. I won’t lie, I don’t pay too much attention to who won what Oscar (frankly, the various voters have made too many questionable choices over the years for me to trust their judgement). For me, it’s all about who wore what. I think that’s the most important part of the Oscars to most of us, really – the fashion. All images are sourced from Vogue.co.uk and eonline.com

The Best 10

Lupita Nyong’o’s Prada dress was made especially for her, teamed with Fred Leighton headband and jewellery. Most photos that I have seen of her in this dress involve her swishing it, and I can’t blame her – I would be doing exactly the same were this my dress – it just looks so amazing!

Show us a twirl: Lupia seemed particularly pleased with her gown, which she revealed had been made especially for her

I’ve seen this Gucci dress on a few ‘worst dressed’ lists because of the ‘armory’ detailing, but personally I love it. It’s a gorgeous touch of detail on a classically cut dress.

Cate Blanchett’s Armani Privé dress actually took a while to grow on me. Or rather, the dress of 90% instantly gorgeous – the sheer, uber pale, colour-match fabric. It was the embellishments that took some getting used to. It needs something of course, otherwise it would have just looked… ‘is she wearing a dress or just foundation with a skirt?’ blandness. There’s just something about these particular… what are they, exactly? Pearly, flat, round… coins? Discs? They just remind me a little too much of barnacles and other weird anthropods and mussels and… sea stuff. I think I’m probably the only person in the world who sees that though, so let’s just ignore that weird little comparison. I do, however, love the sleeves.

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Worst Dressed

This could have been a great dress – Giambattista Valli – if Penelope Cruz had just ditched the weird drapey shoulder scarf thing. Though I’m not keen on the pastel, faded-bubblegum colour, either.

A bit too 2001 glitz rather than 2014 Gatsby.

Wacky wallpaper: Zooey Deschanel donned a very busy floral and polka dot strapless number to the Vanity Fair party (left), and Nikki Reed looked ready for bed in her bathrobe-style boho gown (right)

Lace overload: Fashion darlings Karolina Kurkova (left, in Elie Saab at Elton John's viewing party) and Diane Kruger (right, in Valentino at the Vanity Fair after party) both opted for over-the-top lace looks

Bin bag dress, anyone?

Disney Media co-chair Anne Sweeney. wore an oddly structured blue Armani Prive dress, which opened at the waist to reveal a bright red silk accent

The ‘Almost There’s…

This Vera Wang dress just doesn’t quite… work. The fabric looks a bit cheap, a bit too t-shirt-y.

Lady Gaga, Oscars 2014

Chuck the chiffon around-the-neck wrap, and the ugly Gaga shoes (yes, I am aware that Gaga is not Gaga without Gaga shoes), and it’s a yes. The dress – Lorraine Schwartz – is beautiful. I’m not a Gaga fan, but all in all, she looks much better than when she wears her usual crazy outfits.

If it weren’t for the weird thigh-split detailing on the skirt (and that random layer of fabric above her leg), this J Mendel dress would be a yes for me.

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Catching up on the Catwalks: AW14

I miss the good old days, when I could curl up in my armchair with a coffee, and watch the live catwalk feed each fashion week. Of course, it’s a good thing that those days are over – I’d hate to still have so much time on my hands that I can sit and watch the live feeds of fashion week (London, Paris, Milan and New York!). Being busy is always good.

So tonight I’ve been catching up on what so far I’ve only caught glimpses of. I especially love the creativity with tailoring, full midi skirts and feminine, flowing layers that are awash over the catwalk this year – these trends have been around for a while now, of course, but it just seems to get better each season. Thank you Vogue.com (the source of all photos below)!

Dior

Lanvin

MSMG

Versace

Fendi

Chloe

Erdem

Temperley London

Let’s just throw the entire Temperley collection in there – I’m in love it all!

Julien Macdonald

Holly Fulton

Mary Katrantzou

Jasper Conran

Marchesa

Naeem Khan

Jenny Packham

Zac Posen

Alice & Olivia

Victoria Beckham

And then after an evening of perusing Vogue’s catwalk reports, comes that horrible sink in my heart as I remember that I can’t just nip into town and buy any of these outfits. Even if a Chanel or a Marchesa store were to pop up overnight five minutes from my house (ha!), I dare not even guess as to how much every item on this page would cost me in total… and when I would have the opportunity to wear most of them. Sigh. I have to keep reminding myself that to most of us, these catwalks are to be looked at in the same way as the artwork in a gallery. Depressing as that is.

Ah well. I have a thousand ideas in mind for re-working my own wardrobe to get me started. I think it’s about time I ought to inject some more ‘regal’, brocade and berry-toned pieces. I’ve been searching for months now.

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